Raising chickens, children

Paul Dixon was in a hurry to get out of Dodge, but, in his case, it was Dallas.

So at 17, during his senior year of high school, Dixon and his girlfriend, Lisa, loaded up a U-Haul and moved to Craig.

"I had to get away from home," he said. "I was determined to finish high school no matter where we ended up."

Despite the odds, Dixon became an Moffat County graduate and has lived here for the past 11 years.

"My girlfriend became my wife, and now we're raising our family," Dixon said.

"It seems so odd to us that the young people can't wait to get out of here," he said, "and as young people, we chose to come here."

Dixon works in sales for Hometown Homes. He loves his job but said his most important work is being dad to four boys, who range in age from 1 to 9. Paul and his wife are expecting number five in July.

"We are hoping for a girl, but healthy is still the most important," he said.

Dixon loves the region. He and his wife live on three acres with the Sandrocks as their back yard.

"We have a hard time keeping the boys in the house," he said. "They are always trying to catch lizards, making up games or exploring the landscape."

Last year, after visiting the fair, Dixon's son Eli became fascinated with chickens.

"As part of his schooling, we designed and built a chicken coop," he said. "He is now responsible for the chickens."

Eli began to pay attention to the sounds they make at different times and seems to know what they are doing. He thinks they talk. "He'll tell us what they are doing and he's right," he said.

"Chickens are much smarter than I thought and extremely affectionate animals," Dixon said. "Aside from fresh eggs, we've had a huge family learning experience."

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